Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The 2008 Elections - What, me worry?

I've been meaning to write about the fall elections but have put it off because I didn't feel like launching into some long treatise about why I think Barack Obama is a pretty freaking scary candidate, even as Democrats go. Suffice it to say that he's an inexperienced, two-dimensional politician with reflexively socialist, elitist, race-conscious, and -- dare I say it? -- anti-American ideas and philosophies, and I don't think he, unlike Bill Clinton (at least), can be counted on to govern pragmatically from the middle. Thus the damage Obama could do in four years in office staggers the imagination. I keep mentally screaming at the American people (and, especially, at the mainstream media that seem intent on getting him elected by any "journalistic" means necessary) to listen to what Obama is saying, at least to the extent he's saying anything at all. I don't care how tired you are of George W. Bush or hypocritical Republican senators or congressmen -- do you really want the hardest of hard-left Democrats to be president? (I was heartened this week by a column written by Thomas Sowell -- an African-American I would vote for in a heartbeat -- in which he recalled taking an economics class from John Kenneth Galbraith. Galbraith's soaring rhetoric won him a standing ovation from his students on the first day of class, but as the semester wore on, he persisted in speaking in airy generalities, which in turn caused most of the students to stop attending class or even to stand up and leave in the middle of lectures. The obvious similarity there to Obama's cotton-candy campaign speeches causes Sowell to suggest that the American public will eventually tire of him and stop paying attention. One can hope so, even if John McCain isn't exactly a scintillating alternative.)

I think the notion that the lower and middle classes, to the extent that they vote Republican, are voting against their own economic interests -- and that Democrats are the champion of the little guy -- is utterly risible. Who wants to keep gasoline at $4.00/gallon, or have it go even higher, in order to depress demand and consumption? (And just whom do they think high fuel and energy prices hurt the most?) Who believes Wal-Mart is the embodiment of corporate evil -- inasmuch as it refuses to allow its employees to unionize -- notwithstanding the fact that its stores are where the little guy shops and is able to make his hard-earned dollars stretch farther? (And what would happen to the little-guy consumer if Wal-Mart prices suddenly rose 30-40% to cover artificially high labor costs?) Who is willing to trash the American economy, destroying billions upon billions of dollars in wealth in the process and imposing tremendous hardship on the poor worldwide, in order to chase after the bogeyman of anthropogenic "climate change"? Finally, who seems bent on following Europe, with its dwindling native populations, unsustainable social-welfare programs, and ever-shrinking will to defend itself, down what Mark Steyn calls the "eurinal" of history?

Don't get me wrong: I don't have much more regard for most Republican politicians than I do for Democrats, but clearly there is a bad choice and a worse choice here. And Obama...is...the...latter.